As part of our health program, Playa Viva promotes regular sterilization campaigns for dogs and cats within the communities with which we work. Those include Juluchuca, Rancho Nuevo, Las Placitas, La Barrita, and El Cayacal.
In late October 2022, thanks to the support of collaborators, a team of veterinarians, and, above all, the happy children committed to animal welfare who helped raise awareness among their families and neighbors, we successfully sterilized 81 pets belonging to people from these five communities near Playa Viva.
The Importance of Sterilization Programs
The implementation of regular sterilization programs is the most effective method of addressing canine and feline populations that have exceeded the local community’s capacity to care for these animals adequately. Without sterilization initiatives, homeless animals are often abandoned or die from disease. Therefore, sterilization is essential for managing overpopulation and preventing diseases that can be transmitted to other animals and to people.
Sterilization tends to be a subject ripe with myths and fears, and Juluchuca is no exception to that. However, little by little we are creating awareness about how crucial sterilization is, particularly among younger generations. Our educational program focuses on recognizing that the adoption of a pet means responsibility—not only for the animal itself but also within the community. For this reason, the best way to contribute to the well-being of all is by sterilizing pets since they can transmit diseases.
And let’s not forget the environmental impact of our pets. It is estimated that the average dog defecates a little less than a pound of feces and half a liter of urine per day. Not only does some of that waste directly enter the atmosphere, but some will also eventually break down and wash into the water supply.
Interview With Leading Veterinarian
During the sterilization campaign, we had the opportunity to interview Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Iris Díaz, who (for the second time) was in charge of the surgeries together with her team of cohorts.
Q: Iris, what is the importance of carrying out this type of activity?
A: The most important thing is to raise awareness, so that in the future there may be more sterilized animals. This is necessary for the prevention of diseases and some other pathologies derived from not sterilizing pets at a certain age.
Q: What did you enjoy most about these two days of work?
The connection with the community and with the people—seeing the children, the parents, and various other people who have come to previous campaigns, too. We have people who travel here from Petatlán and other communities to be able to sterilize their pets.
Q: What message would you like to share to the people who brought their pets? And any message to those who are not convinced of the benefits of this type of activity?
To the people who came, thank you for trusting us and opening your mind to sterilization.
And to the people who could not come or did not want to come, I invite you to have more empathy toward the animals and to prevent the birth of animals that no one is going to take care of. This is how we can curb the feline and canine overpopulation in our state of Guerrero. The issue of abandonment and animal abuse is terrible.
Q: Could you share a little about your experience running these campaigns?
I have traveled to different states and communities for different associations. I have traveled to Michoacán, Tabasco, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Oaxaca, and Guerrero with my team. It’s tireless work. I spend a lot of time, energy, and resources to be able to sterilize and change the mentality of people so that in the future, perhaps not so distant, there won’t be so much abandonment and mistreatment.
Playa Viva regularly organizes sterilization campaigns that are possible thanks to the generous support and contribution of friends, guests, and volunteers. This campaign was made possible thanks to the invaluable support of Valentine Reiss-Woolever and her collaborators.
On behalf of the families, pets, and Playa Viva team, thank you so much, Valentine!